Message from Joanne Bays, the National Director of Farm to Cafeteria Canada
"There are lovely caring neighbours beyond our borders, and there is no better time then now to reach out" - Joanne Bays
It is hard to believe it has been 8 years since I stood up at a podium in Detroit, to speak on behalf a determined team of Canadians. There I announced to an audience of 1,100 US Farm to Cafeteria enthusiasts, "Canada plans to establish their own National Farm to School Network." To a thunderous round of applause, I went on to say, "Watch for an invitation to Canada's National Conference".
In the time since that announcement, a core group of visionaries convened to articulate a vision, a plan and – ultimately – a national organization: Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC), which would lead the Farm to School (F2S) movement in Canada. Together they found innovators and investors and began to sow seeds to make the dream of healthy local food in all public institutions a reality.
Today, with strong multi-sectoral public and private partnerships investing more than $3.5 Million into current pan-Canadian F2S initiatives, F2CC is directly funding and evaluating F2S best practices in schools and campuses from coast to coast. Each of these directly funded programs is contributing to the beautiful, flourishing landscape of farm to school activity that is underway in Canada.
Today, thanks to the efforts of so many, we can say with pleasure and pride - Farm to School has taken root in Canada. Moreover, it is our intention to nurture and expand those roots. In my new position as National Director of F2CC, I shall be working closely with Jesse Veenstra, F2CC's new National Manager of F2S Initiatives, to continue to inspire the national momentum underway. While Jesse takes the reigns managing the implementation of existing pan-Canadian F2S initiatives I shall turn my focus to the horizon, strengthening and expanding partnerships, exploring trends and innovations, and setting my sights on a new goal post: Farm to Cafeteria - without borders.
I hope that you will join us next spring in beautiful Victoria, BC at that pan-Canadian F2S Conference, as promised.
Photo Caption: Joanne Bays National Director Farm to Cafeteria Canada, Victoria, BC and Kim Herrington, Finance and Program Director Whole Kids Foundation, Austin Texas
Joanne Bays, National Director of Farm to Cafeteria Canada
Farm to School Continues to Grow –
33 schools in 5 provinces receive Farm to School grants!
Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC) and the Whole Kids Foundation (WKF) are thrilled to announce 33 successful recipients from the 2018 round of Farm to School Canada grants. Each of these schools will receive grants valued at up to $10,000 to deliver more of the local harvest into school cafeterias where it will be served up in salad bars.
As per the 50 schools that received grants in 2016, the 33 schools in this second grant cycle will be engaged in a multi-sectoral pan Canadian initiative - Farm to School: Canada Digs in!. Given the growing interest in local food, food literacy, and healthy eating in institutional settings, from grassroots to government levels, the aim of F2SCDI is to scale and evaluate promising Farm to School practices with a view to help shape advocacy and policy efforts. MORE
We invite you to join us on Canada’s West Coast, in beautiful Victoria, BC – the traditional territory of the L'kwungen speaking people from the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, and the SENĆOŦEN speaking people of the W̱SÁNEĆ Nations.
This conference will gather over 450 expected participants from across the continent for an opportunity to learn, celebrate, share and inspire the movement to bring healthy, local, and sustainable foods to the minds and plates of students in Canada and beyond.
Be sure to save the date and stay connected with us through our newsletter and social media to be the first to learn about exciting conference program details! MORE
Celebrating Good Food on Canada's Campuses
At Meal Exchange, we have spent the past two years working with more than 200 students, experts, researchers, food producers, and community leaders to design the Good Food Challenge, a national effort to mobilize the power of students to create campus food systems that are nourishing for producers, consumers, communities, and the planet. As a proud partner in the Canada Digs In! initiative, we’re working to incorporate a ‘Farm to Campus Approach’ into this program, ensuring that students on Canada’s campuses are able to access fresh, healthy, local food.MORE
Local Food on the Public Plate:
A Journey Through Farm to School Diversity in BC
This past May, Claudia Paez and Marcus Lobb, two regional F2S animators in BC packed their bags and travelled the province to see Farm to School in action at 14 schools that received a Farm to School (F2S) Salad Bar grantin 2016. With all of the schools now in the second year of their Farm to School (F2S) Salad Bar program, we believed it was a great time to pay their programs a visit and see how things have evolved. Claudia, our mainland animator, traveled east through the Okanagan and Kootenays Region, while Marcus, our coastal animator, visited schools on Vancouver Island as well as in the Cariboo region. More
Local Food Literacy in Schools: Q&A from Ontario
In December 2017 Sustain Ontario released its Local Food Literacy in Schools: Frequently Asked Questions Guide to share ideas and useful resources with school champions who are bringing local food literacy into their classrooms. Since the release of the guide we have shared each of the 10 FAQs as a separate blog post with additional links and stories (including many Farm to School stories!), and generated discussion on twitter: visit #LocalFoodLiteracy to be a part of these conversations.More
Schools Take Root: Quebec Fundraising Campaign
Équiterre is now inviting all schools in Quebec to take part in an innovative fundraising campaign that offers a unique opportunity to teach kids and their families about the benefits of eating healthy, local and organic food with the sale of baskets of organic vegetables produced by our very own family farmers!
Each basket costs $30 ($6 goes to your establishment). Baskets are delivered to your establishment on the date you determine with the farmer. We invite you to check out the information on how to implement this campaign in your establishment (Step-by-Step Guide and Quick Guide). Feel free to use our video clip and fact sheet to present the campaign to your establishment’s principal or governing board! More
The local food movement is spreading across New Brunswick schools
Le Réseau des cafétérias communautaires and the source of the growing local food movement in South Eastern New Brunswick schools.
In 2009, Rachel Schofield Martin could no longer stand seeing children at her school being fed processed or frozen foods. The Bouctouche, New Brunswick educator set herself a goal: abolish the contract between the school and cafeteria supplier, and take advantage of New Brunswick’s agricultural products. Soon after, Ms. Schofield Martin launched Le Réseau des cafétérias communautaires, a social enterprise, that in nine short years has expanded to provide 21,000 francophone students from 24 schools with healthy meals comprised with over 45% of New Brunswick locally sourced foods.More
Local Farms Branching into Local Health Care System in NL:
Pilot Project Underway
This project aims to leverage the vast potential of health care facilities to support a more vibrant food system in our province by providing patients with healthy meals made of local ingredients.
Many of Food First NL’s projects overlap on a common goal: to make the healthy choice an easy choice for residents of Newfoundland & Labrador. Likewise, we also want to see the local choice become the easy choice.More
NEW Faces at The National Table
Left to Right: Jesse Veenstra, National Manager; Marcus Lobb, Coastal Islands and Northern BC; Claudia Páez Varas, Mainland BC; Matt Currie, National Campuses; Jill Mulholland, New Brunswick
We at F2CC feel privileged to work with such creative and dedicated people from across Canada who work hard to put more local, healthy food into the minds and onto the plates of students! Over the course of the fall and early spring we've been happy to welcome a few new faces to our Farm to School National Community of Practice. Please see the Regional Leads page on F2CC's website to come to know and to connect with the Regional Lead in your area.
New Brunswick Farm to School Guide
In November 2017 Farm to Cafeteria Canada released this beautifully illustrated step by step guide to support school communities and the local food supply sector to advance Farm to School. While the guide was developed with New Brunswick in mind, it draws upon the latest, most innovative approaches and tools developed across Canada and the US to support Farm to School programming and will have much application in communities across Canada. The Guide is available in both official languages.More
Put Your School on the Map!
Did you know that by registering your school on our School Food Map you're raising awareness about Farm to School activity happening across Canada? This gets the attention of key decision makers and funders alike, helping to grow support for the the Farm to School movement across Canada! Join the more than 1100 Canadian schools already registered, and sign-up today!